Yellen says Treasury will fight misuse of cryptocurrencies, foster innovation

FAN Editor
FILE PHOTO: Former Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen speaks during a panel discussion in Atlanta
FILE PHOTO: Former Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen speaks during a panel discussion at the American Economic Association/Allied Social Science Association (ASSA) 2019 meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., January 4, 2019. REUTERS/Christopher Aluka Berry

February 11, 2021

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Wednesday warned about an “explosion of risk” related to digital markets, including the misuse of cryptocurrencies, but said new financial technologies could help fight crime and reduce inequality.

In remarks to a financial sector innovation roundtable, Yellen said that cryptocurrencies have been used to launder the profits of online drug traffickers and to finance terrorism.

But she said innovation in the sector could help address these problems and reduce digital gaps dividing the country.

“Innovation should not just be a shield to protect against bad actors. Innovation should also be a ladder to help more people climb to a higher quality of life,” she said.

(Reporting by David Lawder and Andrea Shalal; Editing by Sam Holmes)

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